Tuesday, March 20, 2012

still-sound 52. The Rite of Spring

Today is the Vernal Equinox.  The sun is at its zenith over the equator.  I had read that on this day, a raw egg will stand up without toppling over.  I tried it and it's true.  For pagans, today is Ostara, the celebration of spring's renewal.  Ostara is the name of a goddess.  I like that an egg, the symbol of feminine-derived new life will do unusal, fancy things today.

The Rite of Spring performed by the Bolshoi Ballet. Photography by Vasily Maiseenok

When I was a teenager I became a little obsessed with Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.  The piece begins with a solo bassoon meandering along a simple path. Eventually dissonance and complex rhythms take over and the piece becomes violent and seemingly anarchic like a springtime storm.  The audience was so shocked at the debut in Paris, 1913 that a riot ensued within the theater.  99 years later it's funny to a imagine such a reaction to a ballet and piece of music.

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